Arab states sever ties with Qatar for 'supporting terrorism'

Published: June 5, 2017
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Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. PHOTO: REUTERS

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. PHOTO: REUTERS

RIYADH / SYDNEY: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya and the United Arab Emirates announced on Monday they were severing diplomatic ties with Qatar, as they accused the Gulf state of supporting terrorism.

Saudi news agency SPA said Riyadh cut diplomatic ties and closed borders with its neighbour to “protect its national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism”.

Saudi military alliance: Pakistan seeks to find a middle ground

A Saudi official cited by SPA said the country decided to “sever diplomatic and consular ties with Qatar, and to close all land, sea and aviation ports”.

The “decisive” measure was due to the “gross violations committed by authorities in Qatar over the past years”, the Saudi statement said, as the UAE made an announcement cutting ties.

Egypt’s foreign ministry also accused Doha of supporting ‘terrorism’ in a statement as it announced the severing of ties. The statement said all Egyptian ports and airports would be closed to Qatari vessels.

Bahrain news agency said the tiny kingdom was cutting ties with Doha over its insistence on “shaking the security and stability of Bahrain and meddling in its affairs”.

Yemen’s internationally recognised government cut ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of working with its enemies in the Iran-aligned Houthi movement, state news agency Saba reported. “Qatar’s practices of dealing with the [Houthi] coup militas and supporting extremist groups became clear,” the government said in a statement.

It added that Yemen supported a decision by a Saudi-led
coalition fighting for more than two years to oust the Houthis
from the capital Sanaa to remove Qatar from its ranks announced
earlier on Monday.

Libya’s eastern-based government has followed regional allies in cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar, said its foreign minister, Mohamed Dayri.

Pakistan left with limited options in Saudi-led Islamic military alliance

The Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting rebels in Yemen’s two-year war meanwhile said it was expelling Qatar over what it said was the country’s support for organisations including Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

Doha has long faced accusations that it is a state sponsor of terror.
It has been criticised in some quarters for its support of rebel groups fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and Qatari individuals have also been sanctioned by the US Treasury for terror-funding activities.

In recent weeks, Qatar has been accused outright of terror funding in articles which have appeared in the American media. It was also criticised for providing a sanctuary to former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal, who earlier this month used his Doha base — where he has lived in exile for several years — to launch a new policy document. The Afghan Taliban opened an office in Doha in 2013.

Qatar, which will host the 2022 football World Cup, is a member of the US-led coalition to defeat the Islamic State group.

The country is also home to the Al-Udeid airbase, where the US conducts all coalition air operations for the region.

Qatar calls Arab moves to cut ties unjustified, baseless

Qatar said it regretted a coordinated decision by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to cut diplomatic relations on Monday over Doha’s alleged support for terrorism, according to Qatar-based al Jazeera TV.

Pakistan has no plans to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar: FO

“The measures are unjustified and are based on claims and allegations that have no basis in fact,” the network quoted the foreign ministry as saying. Qatar said the decisions would “not affect the normal lives of citizens and residents”.

“The campaign of incitement is based on lies that had reached the level of complete fabrications,” AFP quoted the Qatari foreign ministry. It added that, as a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, it was committed to its charter, respected the sovereignty of other states and did not interfere in their affairs.

Tillerson urges Gulf states to address differences, stay united

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday called on Gulf states to stay united and work out their differences after several nations cut diplomatic ties with Qatar.

“We certainly would encourage the parties to sit down together and address these differences,” he said in Sydney. “If there’s any role that we can play in terms of helping them address those, we think it is important that the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] remain united.”

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Reader Comments (21)

  • BrainBro
    Jun 5, 2017 - 9:33AM

    Qatar sees Saudi Arabia as a rival. Other GCC countries like the UAE, for example, are strongly aligned “under” Saudi Arabia.Recommend

  • Moinuddin
    Jun 5, 2017 - 10:00AM

    What will happen to the “Qatari khat” now? Will it be under qatara?Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jun 5, 2017 - 10:19AM

    I have also cutoff diplomatic relations with Qatar. They should be ousted from GCC.Recommend

  • Amir
    Jun 5, 2017 - 11:11AM

    KSA accusing Qatar of terrorism, that is so funnyRecommend

  • Sonya
    Jun 5, 2017 - 11:20AM

    Since Saudi big brothers have asked all the brotherly countries to follow them and cut ties with Qatar – I am wondering what is Pakistan’s position in this case? Tomorrow, Saudis might accuse China and the list can go on and on……Recommend

  • Sara
    Jun 5, 2017 - 11:40AM

    No wonder Qatar is a friend of PMRecommend

  • Rahul
    Jun 5, 2017 - 11:57AM

    First Yemen, then Iran and now Qatar. The so called Muslim ummah is getting smashed to smithereens. Recommend

  • Faisal
    Jun 5, 2017 - 12:05PM

    Now Qatar is meddling in Saudi and Bahrain’s affairs! I thought it was Iran and the other Shia countries that were doing it. Seems like the house of saud has no other excuse left and anyone that strays off the plan laid by the Saudis will be accused of the same. Recommend

  • illpopo
    Jun 5, 2017 - 12:20PM

    Saudi Arabian alliance is B team of NATO!Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Jun 5, 2017 - 12:26PM

    For the arabs it is back to olden days of tribal rivalry and squandering of enrgy and resource, The whole of the peninsula is oozing out gasses and black tars nd ill contnue to do until the plnet is no longer habitible. the sooner they realise that the world finds itself in the 21st century the quicker they would forget their arch rivalries and times of chivalry and try to become the genuine homo sapien they once were.

    Rex Minor Recommend

  • Asad Ali
    Jun 5, 2017 - 1:46PM

    Looks like the ending of the world… what is going in the minds of gulf country…. why why ksa is doing this… we all are same ummàh there is no difference. So why then doing this… whether someone is sunni or Shia is. it’s own business. …
    . ..Recommend

  • wb
    Jun 5, 2017 - 1:58PM

    @Rahul:
    Muslim Ummah never existed. The biggest persecutors and murderers of Muslims are Muslims themselves.Recommend

  • Tehsin Sharif
    Jun 5, 2017 - 2:21PM

    Not Gulf countries. KSA and UAE are the biggest enemies of Islam and Muslim. They against of pace and they are doing what their master is ordering to do.Recommend

  • MS
    Jun 5, 2017 - 2:45PM

    There is no doubt Qatar has been supporting Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah. Also Qatar has largest US base in Middle East. It wanted everything on it’s plate which was expected to backfire some day. Recommend

  • Andrew
    Jun 5, 2017 - 2:53PM

    Whether there is any truth in the allegations raised against Qatar, however, it remains clear that there is something more than meets the eye. It is strange that Qatar has allowed the US to have bases in Qatar whereas the other GCC countries have cut of ties. Something doesn’t seem right? But who are we to be bothered about international affairs. We are still celebrating the Social Media called for boycott of fruit vendors. We are still not a nation rather a group of people still divided into Pathan, Mohajir, Baloch, Sindhi and Punjabi. Recommend

  • Khan
    Jun 5, 2017 - 3:33PM

    Qatar should stand tall. Qatar is on right side, these Western Puppet regime (KSA, UAE etc) are playing in the westerner hands and committing terrorism against innocent civilians of Yemen, Syria and Iraq.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jun 5, 2017 - 4:44PM

    @Khan:
    How Qatar is on a right side? It’s not a secret that Qatar has been supporting Akhwaan, Hamas and Hezbollah on one side and also supporting ISIS, Al-Nusrah, Al-Quaida. Please don’t forget that it has also relations with Taliban. It’s double game doesn’t finish here, it has largest US base of Middle East from where Americans control other countries. It’s not even end of story, it has friendly ties with Iran, yet has sent 1000 Qatari soldiers in Yemen to kill Iran’s Allies. Qatar’s hypocrisy doesn’t stop here, it’s a Kingdom, ruled by dictators but it propagates Human rights, democracy and rule of law through it’s TV Al-Jazeerah, not in Qatar but in other countries.Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Jun 5, 2017 - 4:50PM

    @Khan:
    They all need to learn the art of diplomacy and the true interpretation of ummah being human race of believers.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Sara
    Jun 5, 2017 - 5:27PM

    Just last minute efforts by KSA to raise oil pricesRecommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jun 5, 2017 - 7:18PM

    @Khan:
    Yes, Qatar does stand “tall” with a huge US and British naval presence there. So one wonders the real motive behind this terrorism accusation.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jun 6, 2017 - 2:54AM

    Stay strong Qatar, these Saudi crooks will end with a shame. Qatar is the only Arab country whose media can talk about the evils of Saudi crooks. Recommend

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